Halftime! | Your Campaign Spotlight from Summa Strategies

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Dates to Watch

Leaders’ Tours


  • Justin Trudeau will be in Toronto this morning, where he’ll unveil the long-awaited Liberal platform. The governing Liberals have chosen to follow a different approach than the Conservatives and NDP, who strategically released their policy documents in the early days of the campaign. 
  • Trudeau was in Granby, Québec on Tuesday, where he announced the Liberals’ plan to spend $1 billion over 10 years on restoring Canada’s large lakes and river systems. 
  • Responding to questions from reporters on Tuesday, Trudeau reiterated his government’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis while defending its 2018 decision to purchase the Trans Mountain (TMX) pipeline project. 
  • Last Wednesday, Trudeau promised that his government would hike taxes on the big banks with the goal of generating a minimum of $2.5 billion per year over the next 4 years.


  • This morning at 11AM EST, Erin O’Toole is set to make an announcement and hold a media availability in Ottawa.
  • The Conservative Leader was in King City, Ontario on Tuesday to present his party’s animal welfare plan. O’Toole said that a Conservative government would ban puppy mills in addition to cracking down on unethical breeders. 
  • On Thursday, O’Toole argued that it’s time for Canadian flags, which have flown at half-mast for the past several months, to come back up. O’Toole said that despite the ongoing revelations regarding Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples, right now is “not a time to tear down Canada” but “a time to recommit to build it to be the country we know it can be.” 
  • Speaking from the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, O’Toole unveiled the Conservative plan to tackle mental health last Wednesday.


  • Jagmeet Singh is set to be in Montreal today, where he’ll be making an announcement on housing at 9:30AM EST.
  • On Tuesday, Singh announced a plan to address the housing crisis by targeting speculators who flip affordable homes and increasing the taxable amount of their capital gains profits from 50% to 75%. 
  • The NDP Leader also suffered an embarrassing gaffe on Tuesday. While standing next to Singh at a campaign event in Churchill, Manitoba, two First Nations leaders endorsed the Liberal candidate running against NDP MP Niki Ashton in Churchill–Keewatinook Aski. 
  • Speaking from Ottawa on Monday, Singh vowed to make the ultra-rich pay their fair share and crack down on tax evasion loopholes. Singh specifically targeted the Trudeau government for giving billionaires and wealthy corporations a “free ride” and allowing them to avoid paying billions via big tax loopholes. 
  • Last Wednesday, Singh responded to questions about whether he would prop up another Liberal or Conservative minority government by reiterating that he is “running to be prime minister.” The NDP is currently polling at 22%, but their seat count has a real chance at growing from the 24 won in 2019. 


  • In Montreal, Yves-François Blanchet is set to hold a press conference at 10AM.   

Platforms and Policy

  • Earlier this week, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau promised that his government would hike taxes on the big banks with the goal of generating a minimum of $2.5 billion per year over the next 4 years. The Liberal plan would raise the corporate tax rate on big banks and insurance companies from 15% to 18%, in addition to committing to implement recommendations to establish an open banking system by 2023. 
  • Ahead of tomorrow’s French-language debate, the Liberals released their climate plan, which included a further expansion of zero-emission vehicle charging stations, mandating that half of all car sales be zero-emission by 2035, and ensuring the electricity grid is net-zero by 2035.
  • On Saturday, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole also shared his party’s plans to legislate an open banking system and improve the banking services currently available to Canadians. 
  • With healthcare shaping up to be a major campaign issue, Trudeau promised that his government would work to set up a new mental health transfer to the provinces if reelected. The Canada Mental Health Transfer would provide provinces and territories with permanent funding to improve access to mental health services, starting with an initial investment of $4.5 billion over 5 years. 
  • O’Toole shared his own party’s mental health plan last Wednesday. The Canada Mental Health Action Plan pledges a Conservative government to work with the provinces to address Canada’s mental health crisis by increasing health transfers by at least 6% and offering a tax credit to employers to cover 25% of their employees’ mental health coverage.
  • Jagmeet Singh faced scrutiny after the NDP tweeted a graphic suggesting that Justin Trudeau had profited from interest on government student loans. Singh was asked if NDP rhetoric about Trudeau contributed to sentiments similar to those at recent protests, which he denied.


  • Tomorrow, Justin Trudeau, Erin O’Toole, Jagmeet Singh, and Yves-François Blanchet are set to face off for the first time in a Montreal studio for TVA’s Face-à-Face Fédérales 2021. The debate will air at 8PM EST. 
  • The window to place candidates on the ballot officially closed on Monday, and the parties wasted no time slinging mud at one another. While Liberal Minister Steven Guilbeault took to Twitter to call out dozens of Conservative candidates for denying climate change, the Tories targeted Guilbeault for allegedly failing to pay his taxes. 
  • Ahead of next week’s French and English-language debates, the leaders of Canada’s five major parties gathered (virtually) for a series of one-on-one interviews with Radio-Canada this past Sunday. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau brandished his government’s accomplishments and stood by his decision to trigger an election amidst the ongoing pandemic, arguing that Canadians deserve the chance to make their voices heard. Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole responded to questions about a range of issues including climate change and vaccine mandates, while the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh focused on setting his party apart from the governing Liberals.
  • Justin Trudeau is being reminded that campaigning isn’t always fun and games. This past weekend, several of the Liberal Leader’s events were interrupted by anti-vax demonstrators, leading to the cancellation of one rally in Bolton, Ontario. Both O’Toole and Singh condemned the protests, and one Conservative candidate went as far as expelling volunteers of his who took part. 

Provincial Updates


  • The Government of Ontario is mulling over the introduction of vaccine passports, with several outlets reporting that documents will be brought into play within weeks.


  • Vaccine passports become mandatory for certain activities — such as gyms, festivals, restaurants and bars — in Quebec today. Proof of vaccination must be provided through the VaxiCode app, which then provides a QR code for businesses to scan. 
  • Premier François Legault weighed in on the election last week, unveiling a list of demands that his province has for the federal government, with healthcare and immigration being the top issues. Legault, who leads the centre-right Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), also criticized recent Liberal and NDP proposals for new provincial health transfers tied to areas like mental health and long-term care while praising the Conservative’s plan to raise federal health transfers by 6% annually.  


  • Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to climb in Alberta, as the province adds 1,000 cases for the third day in a row on Friday. Simultaneously, the United Nurses of Alberta are set to strike within the month, citing proposed wage cuts and staffing issues.


  • More military crews have been sent to assist British Columbia with ongoing wildfires. Fires have burnt through over 800km, causing smoke to reduce air quality across western Canada. Several fires have been classified as more manageable, meaning they will not extend past existing boundaries.

#NSPoliPremier Tim Houston’s new Cabinet was sworn in on Tuesday, August 30. The top jobs include longtime MLA Allan MacMaster being appointed to Deputy Minister and Finance, Brad Johns being appointed to Justice, and former interim leader Karla MacFarlane to Community Services. Back in August, Houston’s Progressive Conservatives delivered Ian Rankin’s Liberals a shocking upset by winning their first election since 2006.

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